What’s it like to grow up with the knowledge that you’ll one day inherit billions?
It’s a scenario that few could imagine, but for the children of the world’s richest men and women, it’s reality. Given that we often only hear about the business endeavours of such figures, it’s easy to forget that many of them have partners and children at home who share in their vast riches – and who will receive a fortune when they’re gone.
So, who are the heirs to the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest parents – and how much are they each in line to receive?
Bill Gates’ Three Children
Gates’ Net Worth: $132 billion
The heirs to the Microsoft fortune were in the headlines earlier this year following the split of their parents, Bill and Melinda Gates.
The now former partners share three children together, with two daughters and a son. Eldest daughter Jennifer is a recent Stanford graduate pursuing a career in medicine, whilst youngest daughter Phoebe recently finished her studies at the prestigious Lakeside School. Middle child Rory is rumoured to be attending the University Of Chicago, though it’s unknown if either himself or younger sister Phoebe will follow in their father’s footsteps and work towards a career in tech.
Richard Branson’s Children
Branson’s Net Worth: $7.9 billion
The Virgin Group tycoon and his wife Joan Templeman are parents to three children, two daughters and one son.
Their first daughter, Clare Sarah Branson, was welcomed by the couple in 1979, though she tragically passed away when she was just four days old as a result of being born fifteen weeks premature. It’s a tragedy that Branson kept private for years, only fully speaking out on the experience in 2009.
The couple, who have now been married for thirty-two years, went on to have two more children. Their daughter Holly, now 39, was born in 1981 and works as the chair of Virgin Group’s charity foundation, Virgin Unite. The pair’s son, Sam Branson, is a 36-year-old actor, filmmaker and founder of production company Sundog Pictures.
Elon Musk’s Six Sons
Musk’s Net Worth: $185.5 billion
Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk has fathered six children, all of them sons.
He and his former wife Justine Wilson, an author from Canada, welcomed their first son, Nevada Alexander Musk, in 2002. However, tragedy struck ten weeks later, as their newborn passed away as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Two years on, the pair became parents for the second time, as they welcomed twins Griffin and Xavier through IVF treatment. The boys, now 17, live a rather private life – little is known about them, other than that Musk shares custody of them with his former wife. The same can be said for their three younger brothers – triplets Kai, Saxon and Damian – who were also conceived through IVF and born in 2006, two years prior to their parents’ divorce.
Musk welcomed his sixth son, X Æ A-Xii, with current partner Grimes back in May 2020. The pair have yet to comment on whether or not they’re planning to expand their family in future, though Grimes explained to Rolling Stone during her first pregnancy that having a child with Musk was a ‘profound commitment’.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Daughters
Zuckerberg’s Net Worth: $130 billion
Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have previously spoken out about their struggle to have children, sharing that the pair experienced three miscarriages following their marriage in 2012.
Thankfully, they finally became parents for the first time in December 2015, welcoming their first daughter Maxima ‘Max’ Chan-Zuckerberg. They later announced that they were expecting a second child, with their youngest daughter, August, born in August 2017.
Whilst the couple make billions of dollars a year, they’ve previously explained that they are determined not to spoil their young daughters and that they keep them grounded by giving them chores to do around the home and taking them to work with them. The latter, Chan says, is to show the children how the pair ‘contribute’ and to teach them the value of doing good work.
Jeff Bezos’ Children
Bezos’ Net Worth: $195 billion
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, famously the world’s richest man, shares four children with his former wife, novelist MacKenzie Scott.
However, despite their father being one of the most highly-discussed personalities on earth, very little is known about Bezos’ children – so little that only one of his children’s names has ever been made public.
Bezos’ eldest son, Preston, was born in 2000 whilst his father’s company was still fighting to stay in business. Twenty-one years on, the Amazon heir is attending Princeton University and is said to be keen on following in his father’s footsteps, potentially working within his own role at Amazon following his graduation.
Barely any information is available regarding the rest of Bezos and Scott’s children – only that the former couple’s daughter was adopted from China.